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Annual Military Appreciation Day Honors Military Families
Over the weekend nearly 3,000 military service members, veterans and their families from the Syracuse area and Fort Drum were honored at the Syracuse vs. University of Connecticut football game for their service during the annual Military Appreciation Game.
“We want to thank the entire Syracuse community, who continues to embrace and support veterans and military-connected members of the community,” says Executive Director of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs Ron Novack. “Veterans, service members and military families make significant sacrifices for our country. It is important we take the time to recognize them and thank them for their service to our nation on a large stage and there is no better place than in the Carrier Dome.”
Syracuse University Athletics and the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs partnered to coordinate military-related activities before and during the game, including:
- A pre-game on-field enlistment ceremony where 15 CNY high school seniors took their initial oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States
- The national anthem was sung by Syracuse University Army ROTC Cadet Holly Gerber-George while the Airmen and their families from the 174th Attack Wing held a large U.S. flag on the field.
- Honoring of United States Air Force Senior Airman Nicholas Matthews, of Liverpool, as the game’s hometown hero
- Joint performances by the Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division band and the Syracuse University Marching Band
- Coin toss by honorary captains Colonel Michael Smith, Commander of the 174th Attack Wing, and Chief Master Sergeant Michael Will, Senior Enlisted Advisor for the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse.
Veterans at the tailgate attended the game free of charge following the annual ‘Cuse for Troops ticket promotion which allows the public to thank veterans and active duty service members for their service by sponsoring their attendance to the game.
The Annual Stars and Stripes tailgate and military appreciation game is part of a series of programs and initiatives in support of Syracuse University’s commitment to veterans, military service members and their families in order to strive to remain the “best place for veterans.”
The objective is supported by a series of strategic initiatives, including the creation of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, IVMF, expanded capabilities of the Office of Veteran Success and construction of the National Veterans Resource Center, a first-of-its-kind multi-use facility dedicated to advancing academic research, programming and community-connected innovation serving the social, economic and wellness concerns of the nation’s veterans and families.
The Syracuse football team defeated Connecticut 51-21.